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Petro-Dollar Diplomacy?

National News

Petro-Dollar Diplomacy?


The State Department has won several high-profile victories in the past year (see: Libya), and Hillary Clinton is largely regarded to be among the most popular national political figures at a time when others are facing a sharp drop in approval ratings. But despite this high tide, the State Department is stuck in a brewing controversy over its role in pushing for the authorization of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada — and it may be forced to answer questions about whether department officials are acting in the best interests of the American public.

The proposed TransCanada pipeline, which would stretch 1,700 miles from the Canadian tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast refineries and cost $7 billion, has drawn criticisms from environmentalists who argue that the project has a significant risk of accidents and that the tar sands oil has a larger carbon output than conventional oil. Despite this opposition, the U.S. government has been generally supportive of the controversial project. The State Department was given responsibility for the pipeline’s approval because it would cross a national border. Whether the State Department is fairly and fully weighing the costs and benefits of the project, however, is a matter of concern to anti-pipeline activists.


  1. Skip Wenz October 22, 2011

    This article missed two important points: 1) the State Department hired a consulting firm that works for the oil company to organize, hold and evaluate the information from all the public hearings held along the pipeline’s route and, 2) the head of the oil company’s public relations arm (at least on this project) used to work as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager or a top exec in her campaign. This is all about revolving doors, cosy relationships and big oil money corrupting what should be an objective evaluation done in the public’s interest.

  2. trott.tim October 22, 2011

    The pipe line will generate the same kind of jobs as the BP oil spill handling the cleanup of the inevitable spills. Of course, they’ll need to truck in water for the workers after the natural gas fracking drains the aquifer and pollutes most of what’s left (water is, of course, the “hydraulic” in hydraulic fracturing).

  3. OldBen October 23, 2011

    That money could be better spent for research and development of alternative fuels. That much invested inresearch could go a LONG WAY toward finding new
    and better fuels.

  4. Darrell Turner October 23, 2011

    As a supporter of Keystone XL I believe strongly that we should tap this Canadian oil market and buy from our friends. If we don’t use this much needed source of oil it will go to China. Their super tankers are lined up waiting to take delivery.

    As for the job numbers, many thousands of Americans will receive high paying jobs at a time when one new job would be a blessing to that person without a job. I am not a writer, but I recognize a slanted article when I read one.

  5. Annie Ironside October 24, 2011

    I believe hand guns should be registered in this county, but I do not beleive our constutional right “Second amendment to the constution ” the right to bear arms”.
    Just a bit of history, before Hitler come to be the Furor, he had a job that gave him the right to have all guns in Germany registered, and when he became Furor, he had his soilders go to each house with a registered weapon and conficate it. There is a bill coming up in December where our Legal crooks in Washington, want to give the U.N. the right to remove our weapons. Don’t forget, some of our American troops work under the U.N. Vice President Biden has tried for the last 30 years to make it against the law for the average citizen to own a weapon. Well I have numerous problems with that, ” We the people do not give the crooks in Washington the right to transfer to the U.N. our constitutional right. I can see where this is a mute issue to a lot of people in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and the big cities; But I bet each of those cities still have more weapons, than law enforcement. They are just in the hands of the gangs. We middle class Americans try not to look at the ugly in our cities and commmunities. But, it is there, just under the surface. If our economy collapases, or a national disaster hits, you will wish you had a weapon to protect your family from gangs of looters; Only the strong survive! The other side of the coin is Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Lousiana, and other states with extreme wild life, Alaska. Need weapons to protect cattle, goat, sheep and our family. Bear, gator, hogs, snake, etc. Plus there are some of us who still hunt for what we eat. Deer, Moose, Elk etc. There is only one way I will give up my weapons, General Patton make it famous.

  6. Annie Ironside October 24, 2011

    When I think of Hillary, I think of Donald Duck in his vault. She has favorable ratings right now because she has remained behind the scene and played low key. When our kids play sports we teach them good sportsman ship. Politics is not a sport, it is crooked, cut throat, my feelings about Washington can best be described by a couple of movie. “Enemy of the state”, Eraser; There is a pipeline in Alaska, has anyone thought to look at what it has done to the enviroment, how many leaks (a lot). I hope Nebraska keeps fighting, that is our bread belt, where most of out wheat comes from and you want to bring a pipeline through it. I know our society depends on “Oil” black gold. We the American people are like the dog chasing our tail. We keep going back to “oil”. One wind machine powers 300 homes, we want to make electric cars, just watched a special on our infastructure on the History channel, Power outages, some places have 300 a year, from one hour to 8 hours. So now lets add electric cars, which means more electricy supplied by oil. We have been down the road on coal, why do you think we quit using it. Black lung disease, and cave in. General Electric, powers their whole plant by methane gas from the and fill. Lets use it in other places. Solar cars, build solar houses and send electricty back to the electric company to supply other houses that do not have solar. That cuts down on the confumption of “oil”. It also creates more jobs. Bringing this new energy into the 20 century. We need to start converting to renewable energy. It will be a slow transition, but pipeline like this delay that,and create hazard, beyond belief. Washington is not interested in doing what is right, think of “Pelican Brief”. They are interested in their lobbist and their pocket book. Now right there is a protest I would join, to make the congress and senate accountable, we vote their raises, and anything to do with the constitution cannot be changed from it’s origional intent.

  7. StephenBarlow October 24, 2011

    At current rates of depletion and growth, do we even HAVE 50 years of functioning as Petroleum based economy? The inevitable exstinction of petroleum is ignored by the headintheOILsands bribe takers. Renewable energy development is mandatory unless you wish Bush Era Stupidnomics to land us in the dark ages. All subsidies to Big oil should be diverted to renewable fuels. A 22% windfall profits tax (a tax on any energy profits above 10% GROSS!!) should also be reserved for alternative fuels.

    On thing NO one has noticed, but as petroleum becomes scarcer, Burning it for power becomes stupider! How do we make chemicals and plastics from other substances? Do you think cottonseed oil vinyl siding will last 20 years on a house? Without alternative fuel DEVELOPMENT, the chemical need for petroleum will shorten the impending exstinction timetable to a generation!

    Sweet potatoes and sugar beets cost half as much to produce, grow in more diverse climates and provide 2-3 times the energy of corn. Corn is FOOD, let’s bring the price of survival down by lowering energy costs and expanding our National longevity by using our best minds and not our worst rhetoric.

    Build refineries in the agriculture belt, it will create jobs. But make them GOVERNMENT jobs, do not privatize our children’s future.


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